Alpena, Michigan —
The UH-60M Black Hawk is one of the most versatile and advanced helicopters in the world, used to deliver and extract troops, provide fire suppression to ground forces, and used for medical evacuation. Last year, the Jordan Armed Forces received 12 new Black Hawk helicopters from the United States, further strengthening their border security and enabling their military to secure Jordan's borders.
"The U.S. supports the JAF's efforts to protect its borders and deter aggression. This is evident not only in the delivery of the most advanced Black Hawks, but also in the rigorous training we are providing to the Royal Jordanian Air Force pilots and crew chiefs," said Col. Richard Quirk, Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy-Amman. "Our military partnership exemplifies our enduring relationship and mutual goals for a secure and stable region."
Being able to rapidly respond to threats and deploy the Quick Reaction Force requires highly trained helicopter pilots and crew chiefs that must be qualified on a variety of mission-related tasks. Through the security assistance provided by the embassy's military training office, the RJAF sends pilots to train at the U.S. Army helicopter training school.
"We are appreciative of all the support our American partners have provided us, both for equipment and training," said Maj. Gen. Yousef Al-Huneiti, the Commander of the RJAF. "Over the past year, we had 12 pilots graduate from the U.S. with five more just graduating July 3." Additionally, there are seven in the queue to attend pilot training in 2019.
Pilots, however, are not the only crew members that must be proficient in these mission tasks. Crew chiefs are essential to mission success and are in a position of great responsibility. They give instructions to the pilots, operate the machine gun, load cargo, and help with maintenance duties.
"This has become a new position in our air force," explains Al-Huneiti. "We had to start from the beginning and the U.S. helped us with this by providing an 8-week Mobile Training Team that came to Jordan and trained side-by-side with us on various crew chief and phase maintenance tasks."
Recently, the Jordan Armed Forces established a Unified Helicopter Command designed to streamline logistics and maintenance sustainment across the various rotary platforms including SOF and QRF mission sets. According to Maj. Gen. Al-Huneiti, the intent of this new command will be to better integrate the air and ground forces for mission planning synchronization.
Jordan and the United States have a strong military partnership and the U.S. has committed 425 million dollars to the Jordan Armed Forces for training and equipment to enable Jordan to achieve its security objectives.